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Old November 29, 2012, 04:24 PM   #1
SprawlCowboy
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Training With Steel or Paper?

Hello everyone.

I have recently acquired land out East that will allow me to train at my leisure.

I plan on doing dynamic training (shooting/moving) to keep skills sharp. The calibers I'd be firing are 9mm, 7.62x39, and I'd be shooting a 12 gauge but don't know which shot to use to avoid potential splatter.

1) Is there a way to safely engage steel targets with these calibers while simultaneously keeping a relatively close distance?

2) I load #1 birdshot, is this safe to shoot steel with at those distances?

3) Are there any tips and advice to be had given this scenario?
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Old November 29, 2012, 04:29 PM   #2
sigcurious
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This is not an endorsement as I have never used them, but there are rubber facing products for steel targets that are designed to make steel safer at close ranges. Hopefully others have used a product like that and can chime in on their effectiveness.
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Old November 29, 2012, 04:44 PM   #3
aarondhgraham
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Ask the cowboy action shooters,,,

Cowboy action shooters do it at ridiculously close distances all the time,,,
You might ask in that forum what they do and how they keep it safe.

Aarond

.
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Old November 29, 2012, 11:43 PM   #4
DaleA
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Quote:
Hello everyone.

I have recently acquired land out East that will allow me to train at my leisure.

I plan on doing dynamic training (shooting/moving) to keep skills sharp. The calibers I'd be firing are 9mm, 7.62x39, and I'd be shooting a 12 gauge but don't know which shot to use to avoid potential splatter.

1) Is there a way to safely engage steel targets with these calibers while simultaneously keeping a relatively close distance?

2) I load #1 birdshot, is this safe to shoot steel with at those distances?

3) Are there any tips and advice to be had given this scenario?
Quote:
is this safe to shoot steel with at those distances?
So what distance are we talking about here? Give us a number in yards or feet.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:16 AM   #5
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15 yards is no problem- I've shot plates and poppers even closer with .45 acp, 9mm, .40 S&W, .38 Special, and 12 gauge Winchester AA's and buckshot.

Bullet construction matters. Jacketed bullets can throw some really bad shrapnel, especially once your steel gets cratered. Eye protection and common sense is mandatory. Always face the berm or impact are while others are shooting to keep your eye protection facing forward.

If you want to go closer than that, I'd go with IPSC cardboard targets. Taping is quick and easy, and cardboard is WAY lighter than a Pepper Popper.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:13 PM   #6
g.willikers
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Use reactive targets other than steel for close use.
Wood, balloons, clay targets, water filled plastic bottles, 'etc.
Thick wood, made from layers of 2 x 4s and 2 x 6s, make very good swingers and knock downs.
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Old November 30, 2012, 03:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
SprawlCowboy
I plan on doing dynamic training (shooting/moving) to keep skills sharp. The calibers I'd be firing are 9mm, 7.62x39, and I'd be shooting a 12 gauge but don't know which shot to use to avoid potential splatter.

Are there any tips and advice to be had given this scenario?
http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/b...getangled2.jpg

If you can angle the target surface of the steel targets the bullet fragments can be directed (mostly) where you want. Once the steel surface starts to get craters the change of fragment going in unpredictable directions increases. If the angle directs the bullet splash towards the ground, you should also insure that there is nothing on the ground to promote more bullet splash like a metal target base.

Defensive handgun bullet velocity presents a slightly lower risk than the rifle bullet velocities due to greater energy and cratering you should expect with rifles (thinking center fire cartridges here).

Always wear eye protection!

You may have to accept the risk of some cuts from bullet splash. Avoid jacketed bullets as the jacket fragments can travel paths that are not straight lines due to their random shapes and spin.
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Old December 2, 2012, 07:54 PM   #8
raimius
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As a personal preference, I don't shoot steel at closer than 10 yards (pistols), but I usually stick to 25 yards.
If you want to get close, angling the target down is helpful.

Also, it seems to me that shotguns tend to throw more metal back toward you than pistols. I've only been hit by stuff from shotguns (15-20 yards, by another shooter). For rifles, I'd go 50 yards or more, depending on the bullet and cartridge (both for my safety and impact on the targets).
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Old December 3, 2012, 09:07 AM   #9
SprawlCowboy
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Quote:
So what distance are we talking about here? Give us a number in yards or feet.
Plan on moving from around 50-75 yards, in toward around 10 yards.

The potential problem I have, is that I shoot mostly PMC, WWB, or Tul due to its affordability. Since these are jacketed this somewhat concerns me. I'd of course be wearing ear and eye protection. Is it necessary to basically completely cover up exposed skin via protective clothing? (I live in a very tropical state).

I may set it up a course where I engage steel at further distances, then when moving in closer have IPSC targets set up.

Thanks for the replies and I'll definitely check out those rubber facing products mentioned.
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Old December 3, 2012, 10:56 PM   #10
raimius
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Angles, velocities, and bullet shape/construction play big parts.
I feel fairly comfortable shooting WWB .45ACP against steel at 15 yards. I would NOT do the same with a .223 rifle.
I've seen competitions use VERY close steels (3yds?). Even with significant downward angles, it concerned a few people!
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Old December 5, 2012, 11:04 AM   #11
SprawlCowboy
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So having looked around the net I've decided that a backstop of sorts will need to be added. I think I've got a few options.

I was estimated $450 to build a 6'x12' dirt berm. I suppose I would plant some sort of sod on the top to keep it from washing away. Not sure if that is a good price.

Also thought about hay bales. I currently am able to acquire them at $12/bale.

I'm trying to keep the price/labor low.

Any advice on a backstop?
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Old December 5, 2012, 11:51 AM   #12
sigcurious
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Couldn't find the link, but the NRA has a guide/pamphlet about safe range construction that has berm specs etc.
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Old December 5, 2012, 11:28 PM   #13
bruno diaz
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I've shot Formica boards at 10 yards with 12 gauge target loads and had pellets bounce back and hit me. Ever since, I've been afraid to shoot at steel targets with a shotgun.
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Old December 6, 2012, 12:50 AM   #14
ltc444
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When shooting steel at close range 15 yards or less allways wear industrial eye protection. Goggles with glasses underneath is probably best.

Steel is fun but parer does not lie.

In lieu of steel you might try bowling pins. They are cheap, tough, last along time (I have one that has taken 500 rounds of 45 hardball and is still relatively intact.) and unless you hit it dead on the bullets and shot will be deflected away from you.
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Old December 6, 2012, 01:20 AM   #15
wolverine_173
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paper works best for me. i like to see where i hit
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Old December 6, 2012, 02:13 AM   #16
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Engage at an angle, wear real shooting glasses, monitor your plates for pitting. Consider having plates at different distances if possible, closer for pistol rounds and then further for hotter calibers or rifle rounds. So many different factors come into play with this scenario, just be careful. IMO steel is better for combat accuracy, paper is better for bullseye practice. I want to know instantly if I hit my target without slowing down to check the paper or having to go back later.
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Old December 6, 2012, 12:04 PM   #17
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I shoot loads of pistol FMJ - mostly WWB - at steels set about 10yds back. Just make sure the steel is hard enough not to crater, angle it down, and let it swing freely and you shouldn't have any problems.
Rifles are trickier - they probably make steel targets that would work, but it would have to be very hard and very thick, so it would probably be very expensive. Since I shoot a lot less rifle than I do pistol, I just set up wood or bottles.
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Old December 6, 2012, 02:47 PM   #18
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National Shooting Sports Foundation range construction guide
http://www.nssf.org/ranges/rangereso...y%20Management

You are heading the right direction but you need to rethink your plan.
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Old December 7, 2012, 11:56 AM   #19
SprawlCowboy
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Not that it will substitute what I'd like to do or how I'd like to train, but I am contemplating getting the Advantage Arms .22 conversion for my carry pistol, Ciener .22 kit for my AKM and setting up angled wooden backstops/traps behind my targets.

Any thoughts on this?
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Old December 7, 2012, 02:13 PM   #20
MarkDozier
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I would not get the 22 conversion for training. I would get it to practise marksmanship at a much lower cost.
You fight like you train. With the massive differneces is recoil you will not be prepared for using your weapon.Your recovery and follow through would be way off in a fight.
Having said that you could do training drills run through with the 22 in place to keep the cost down. Then do several drills with the normal pistol to get used to the recoil and doing mag changes.
I personally would not change anything but I reload so the cost is a lot less.
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Old December 7, 2012, 02:54 PM   #21
iraiam
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I have trained with steel up close but I always used frangible ammunition, If I don't have the $$ for frangible, I use paper targets. The advantage of shooting steel IMO is that you know when you miss and can correct immediately. With paper you have to count holes after your run, but even then if you generally know when you may have missed.

*added* I don't want this to be misinterpreted, frangible training ammo is generally cheaper than regular xm193, If i did not have the money for it, I used my reloads with cheap pulled bullets and fired at paper targets.

a bullet leaves an impact mark on the steel target (frangible also), a quick cover up with flat black spray paint gives you a new target

Quote:
Cowboy action shooters do it at ridiculously close distances all the time,,,
I only briefly tried Cowboy Action, all the up close shooting I did was at a paper target.
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Last edited by iraiam; December 7, 2012 at 03:59 PM. Reason: added paragraph
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Old December 10, 2012, 12:50 PM   #22
ggood
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Steel Targets

Several years ago I was shooting alot of steel with lead 45 acps,no problem. Probably shot as close as 10 yds or so. One day I shot 12 ga low recoil buckshot and it started to rain slightly so in my haste to finish up I stayed at approx 15 yds or so and a fragment came back ,hit me in the side of my head and entered and traveled a couple of inches inside alongside my skull. Had to go to Hospital and they had to remove fragment which looked like a bb with a point on it. Anyway I just hoped it would not cause trouble for the private range and evidently the Hospital didn't report it as a gunshot. The hsp didn't do a great job so after a while had to go to another surgeon for a cleaner fix. I still shoot steel but not with a shotgun. Just be very careful. I try to stay at least 15 yds away with pistol and always wear at least eye protection and anything else would be helpful. Just a little story to remind ourselves not to get too comlacement.By the way I was using 500 Brinell Hardness steel in excellent condition with no craters in it. Just a footnote. Steel was not angled but was held onto post by a long bolt with long spring and could move slightly when hit so I don't know how that played into the picture.Most of the time a see the splttered lead at the foot of the steel whwn cleaning up.

Last edited by ggood; December 10, 2012 at 12:55 PM. Reason: Add material
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Old December 10, 2012, 02:00 PM   #23
colbad
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Frangible ammo is the safe route but don't know the cost since it has always been provided to me. Keep in mind many Police ranges and training facilities do not allow metal engagements for training with other than frangible. There is a tremendous richache factor shooting metal. I know there are published guides on the minimum safe distance to shoot metal. In the pre-frangible days I got hit a couple times with close range "bounce back" and was happy I had a vest on.
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Old December 10, 2012, 10:36 PM   #24
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I run local 3 gun and idpa type matches at my local range, We shoot steel with handguns as close as 7 yards with shotguns as well. Occasionally we will get small bits of jacket come back and bite us but its never serious and we all wear eye protection. Of course our plates ar AR500 type steel. Rifle rounds on steel are never shot any closer than 75 yards.
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Old December 11, 2012, 11:54 AM   #25
Glenn E. Meyer
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Eye protection is a must. I don't know about close up steel. I had my chin split by a bounce back. Didn't know till folks told me my beard was turning red.

I've seen 45 ACP bounce off a tire and give someone a righteous whack on his chest, close up.
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